Precision Harvest: Don’t Stop Scouting

Kurt Lawton

With rain, early freeze and overall cool summer conditions, 2009 harvest has become very challenging for some parts of the Corn Belt. This week’s Integrated Crop Management e-newsletter from Iowa State University highlights issues that need attention. 1. Corn Quality Issues: – Frost-damaged corn often stops at 17-18% moisture (stopped at 20-22% in 2008 in Iowa). Expect low test weights …

Corn, Education, Harvesting

Ethanol Could Improve Diesel Engine Efficiency

Cindy Zimmerman

Using ethanol mixed with water in diesel engines could make them more efficient and reduce emissions. National Corn Growers Association chairman Bob Dickey is also chairman of CleanFlex Power Systems, which is so new they haven’t built a website yet, but what they have done is developed a method to efficiently use ethanol in diesel engines. Dickey started the idea …

Ag Leader, Audio, Corn, Equipment, Ethanol, General, Precision Pays Podcast

Farmer Uses Insight To Start Precision Farming

Kurt Lawton

Young farmers often have a drive for efficiency, and technology. North Plate, Neb., grower Nathan Kramer is no different. He knows the tools of precision agriculture can get him there. But data holds the key. “If you don’t know where you’re at, it’s hard to tell where you’re going,” Nathan says, with regard to their lack of baseline yield data. …

Ag Leader, Corn, Equipment, Farmers, Fertilizer, Guidance, Insights Weekly, Planting, wheat

Is COOL For Fuel Cool?

Chuck Zimmerman

Many of you corn growers using precision technology are very aware of the challenges we’ve had in the ethanol business, especially battling groups with an agenda to distort facts and misinform the public. Growth Energy is a group that was formed to battle that problem on Capitol Hill. Here at the Farm Progress Show, Gen. Wesley Clark, Growth Energy, announced …

Ag Group, Ag Leader, Audio, Corn, Ethanol, Events, Farm Progress Show

New Smaller Deere Self-Propelled Sprayer

Kurt Lawton

John Deere adds a new economy-sized, versatile 4630 self-propelled sprayer to it’s 30-Series lineup that is wired to add valuable precision farming tools. The new 4630 Sprayer is ideal for cotton farmers who want a low-cost, comfortable, and productive machine that’s simple to operate. It’s also ideal for corn, soybean, or small-grain producers that want a productive yet comfortable machine …

Company Announcement, Corn, Cotton, Equipment, John Deere, Soybeans, Spraying

Add Precision Farming Promotion To Your Chore List

Kurt Lawton

One important item on your list of daily chores should be to help educate our customer, the consumer. To that end, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has a site called Corn Farmers Coalition. Not only does it highlight growers using precision agriculture tools that help reduce environmental impact (see “Farmer Innovations” tab), it also features excellent corn facts. It was …

Conservation, Corn, Education, Resources, sustainability

Time To Kick Pre-harvest Checks Into Gear

Kurt Lawton

As we’re well into the dog days of summer, Midwest corn and soybean harvest is looming larger. If you haven’t started combine prep already, it’s time to dust off those owner’s manuals to fine-tune the machine and its data-gathering electronics. Ag Leader Technology, a sponsor of, offers some good advice in a pre-harvest checklist for owners of their InSight …

Ag Leader, Corn, Education, Equipment, Insights Weekly, Soybeans

Precision Fertilizer Use Helping Shrink Hypoxia Zone

Kurt Lawton

A good story that appeared recently in Wallaces Farmer magazine highlights farmer efforts to continually improve precision fertilizer application. In fact, it reports that the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico has shrunk and that Nitrogen delivery has been reduced by 21 percent. The “hypoxia zone” in the Gulf of Mexico is significantly smaller this year than scientists predicted …

Conservation, Corn, Fertilizer, sustainability

Southern Precision Agriculture Conference

Kurt Lawton

Southern growers interested or already involved with the efficient tools of precision agriculture should take part in the upcoming January conference in Tunica, Mississippi. The Southern Precision Agriculture Conference will be held January 12th and 13th, 2010, at Harrah’s Tunica Convention Center in Tunica. It will be part of a joint meeting with the National Conservation Cotton and Rice Conference, …

Conservation, Corn, Cotton, Displays, Education, Equipment, Events, Industry News

Precision Farmers Cut Pesticide Use With Seed

Kurt Lawton

While the anti-agriculture activists spout misinformed data about how genetically-modified grains have not boosted yields nor reduced use of fertilizer or chemicals–those of us living and breathing modern precision agriculture know the truth. In my hundreds and hundreds of interviews I’ve done over the years with progressive farmers (in stories that have appeared in Progressive Farmer, Farm Industry News and …

Conservation, Corn, Education, Farmers, Fertilizer, GPS, sustainability